Todays Date
21 September 2014

Welfare Reform Deaths Scandal !

Community Action Party sources have sensationally revealed that they hold evidence that the governments welfare reform agenda is contributing to the death of 73 people per week.

They say a Freedom of Information request supplied by the Department for Work & Pensions provides statistics in relation to the deaths of benefit claimants which has resulted in their claim being stopped as a result of death, within a few short weeks of being taken off long-term Incapacity Benefits and found able under the governments Work Capability Assessment to be placed in work-related activity groups.

The Freedom of Information response from the Department for Work & Pensions dated 9th July 2012 entitled “Incapacity Benefits: Deaths of Recipients” has provided the following information :-

“Information request:

Can you also, for 2010 and 2011, give me a separate figure for those previously on Incapacity Benefit who were re-assessed and awarded Employment and Support Allowance and have died? Please break that figure down into the following categories:

Those who were found fit to work

Those who were placed in the work related activity group

Those who where placed in the support group

Those who have an appeal pending

Table 2, on the next page, provides data on the numbers of incapacity benefits claimants reassessed for ESA where the claim ended and the Department holds information on a date of death being recorded. It covers all cases where a date of death is given, whether or not the cause of death is related to the health issues leading to the incapacity benefit award. The table shows claims ending between October 2010, when the reassessment process started in the trial areas, and November 2011, the latest data available.

In total, between October 2010 and November 2011, some 310 claims ended and a date of death was recorded within six weeks of the claim end. This represents less than 3% of all death recorded for ESA claims over the same period. The table below shows the position of these claims when they were closed. It would be expected that the mortality rate amongst those on incapacity benefits recipients would be higher than that in the general population as some people receive incapacity benefits due to life-threatening conditions or terminal illness. Those in the Support Group receive unconditional support due to the nature of their illness, which can include degenerative conditions, terminal illness and severe disability.

Note it is possible that the claimant had already closed their claim and then subsequently died, meaning that these figures may overestimate the true picture. Care should therefore be taken when interpreting these figures.

Incapacity Benefits: Deaths of recipients

Table 2: Previous incapacity benefits claimants leaving ESA between October 2010 and November 2011 with a recorded date of death, Great Britain.

Reassessment outcome             Number of claimants leaving ESA with a recorded date of death

Work Related Activity Group –                80

Support Group –                                         230

Total =                                                          310

Source: The figures are derived from administrative data held by the Department for Work and Pensions and assessment data provided by Atos Healthcare.

Note: All figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

Incapacity benefits claimants are assessed through the WCA process to determine their capability for work and eligibility for ESA whilst still on their current benefit (i.e. IB, SDA and/or IS). If an incapacity benefits claimant is found fit for work their IB, SDA and/or IS claim closes.

Data on the number of incapacity benefits claimants that have died following a fit for work decision is not available, as the Department does not hold information on a death if the person has already left benefit.

The Department does not hold information on the number of claimants who died whilst an appeal was in progress.”

“Information request:

Can you please provide me with the number of ESA claimants who have died in 2011?

Can you please break down that number into the following categories:

Those who are in the assessment phase

Those who have been found fit to work

Those who have been placed in the work related activity group

Those who have been placed in the support group

Those who have an appeal pending

Table 3, on the next page, provides data on the numbers of ESA claimants where the Department holds information on a date of death being recorded in 2011 and whose latest WCA date (or activity towards assessment) was before the end of November 2011, the latest data available.

Incapacity Benefits: Deaths of recipients

In total, between January 2011 and November 2011, some 10,600 claims ended and a date of death was recorded within six weeks of the claim end. This represents about 1% of the total ESA caseload in November 2011, the latest caseload data available. The table below shows the position of these claims when they were closed.

Those in the Support Group receive unconditional support due to the nature of their illness, which can include degenerative conditions, terminal illness and severe disability.

Note it is possible that the claimant had already closed their claim and then subsequently died, meaning that these figures may overestimate the true picture. Care should therefore be taken when interpreting these figures.

Table 3: Claimants leaving ESA between January and November 2011 with a recorded date of death, Great Britain.

WCA Outcome at most recent assessment                     Number of claimants leaving ESA with a recorded date of death

Assessment not complete                                                                                 2,200

Work Related Activity Group                                                                          1,300

Support Group                                                                                                    7,100

Total                                                                                                                     10,600

Source: The figures are derived from administrative data held by the Department for Work and Pensions and assessment data provided by Atos Healthcare.

Note: All figures have been rounded to the nearest 100.

Data on the number of ESA claimants that have died following a fit for work decision is not available, as the Department does not hold information on a death if the person has already left benefit.

The Department does not hold information on the number of claimants who died whilst an appeal was in progress.

Department for Work and Pensions

July 2012″ END

Michael Moulding, Deputy Leader of the Community Action Party has submitted an online petition on HM Government website opposing the abolition of Disability Living Allowance which now has several thousand signatures.

Peter Franzen, Leader of the Community Action Party (pictured above) in Greater Manchester and whose party has managed to obtain the Freedom of Information request disclosure says “There can be no doubt that the draconian cuts in public services, jobs and welfare benefits imposed by the Conservative/Lib Dem Coalition has significantly contributed to an increase in stress, depression, deteriorating health and premature death amongst large numbers of the British population.”

“Responsibility for this must be placed on the ex-public school boy £millionaires who infest the corridors of power. “The Community Action Party have  traditionally supported the disabled, the disadvantaged and the oppressed and will continue to do so.”

 

To sign the online petition opposing the abolition of Disability Living Allowance – http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38182

To follow this and other campaigns by the Community Action Party – http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/COMMUNITYACTIONPTY

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